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Colin
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member



USA
708 Posts
Posted - 10/06/2003 : 12:06:16 AM
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I have a Bulgarian carbine; Bulgarian lion crest on the receiver ring, STEYR 1904 on the left receiver rail. It has an S on the barrel, indicating rechambering to 8X56R in Austria. Hungary used an 'H'. My question is: how did a Bulgarian purchase rifle get back to Austria to be marked with an 'S' when rechambered to 8X56R?

Krag
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3553 Posts
Posted - 10/06/2003 : 08:33:37 AM
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Colin - when I was researching my book I was told by an Austrian source that Bulgaria also used M.95 weapons rechambered for the M.30 S-Patrone with the "S" chamber marking. These were reportedly known as the M.38 (ex-Austrian rifles supplied by Germany) and the M.39 (weapons converted in Bulgaria). The conversion was relatively simple, and apparently even backward Bulgaria possessed the industrial capability to perform them.

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"Use up all your ammo and have fun."

Starship Troopers
Robert Heinlein


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Edited by - Krag on 10/06/2003 08:34:51 AM


DocAV
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



Australia
3278 Posts
Posted - 10/06/2003 : 09:40:32 AM
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Bulgaria was NOT that backward, as they were producing their OWN M30 S ammo from 1936 at least, in brass cases; Prior to that, 8x50R M95 original ammo had been acquired by contract from the Czechs ( "M circle"-1935) and probably from the Austrians and Hungarians. Whether this Local 8x56R production was for "S"- converted MGs or Rifles or Both is unknown.
Most assuredly some M95 rifles were acquired prior to 1938 from Austria, and of course some M95 Bulgarian contract rifles left in Austria at the beginning of WW I would have "made it home" between 1930 and 1938, before German "Re-directing" of stocks of M95/30 from Austria to Bulgaria, as Austria after 1938 ( at least by 1940), was fully re-arming with Kar98k of both local (660,bnz) manufacture, as well as other (German) supplies.
Interesting the "nomenclature" M38 and M39...all references to both ammo and rifles has been "Pushka M95 S" or "Kal. 8mm (Mannlicher) "S" ",or similar in Bulgarian Cyrillic on packets, labels etc.

Anybody out there with academic contacts in Sofia, who could research military/historical archives in Bulgarian?

regards, Doc AV




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Edited by - DocAV on 10/06/2003 09:42:27 AM


Krag
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3553 Posts
Posted - 10/06/2003 : 10:48:05 AM
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Doc - if M.38 and M.39 are not correct, I would truly love to know the "correct" Bulgarian designations as it's not too late (yet) to make some changes in my upcoming book. Otherwise I will stick with the info provided by my Austrian source.

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"Use up all your ammo and have fun."

Starship Troopers
Robert Heinlein



Dosing
Gunboards Member



38 Posts
Posted - 10/06/2003 : 6:26:58 PM
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My Budapest 'S' stamped M95 aside, John Munnery ([email protected]) maybe the fellow to contact for more information on the Bulgaria/M95 issue. He is the author of "Bulgarian Military Cartridge Review 1876-present". Interestingly he shows Bulgaria loading 8X56R wooden blanks in 1934. Munnery doesn't show them making thier own Ball until 1938. But of course they were getting contract rounds from outside of Bulgaria from befor that time (it seems at least 1935). I don't see why they would not have stamped the "S" on thier own rifles as others did, as they were facing the same issue, going from the 8X50R to the 8X56R.


Colin
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member



USA
708 Posts
Posted - 10/07/2003 : 12:34:13 AM
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I guess I didn't ask the question well. Austria stamped their 8X56R rifles with an S, Hungary with an H. When Bulgaria rechambered their rifles did they use an S, H or something else?
Krag: please post when your book is published. I, for one, want a copy as information on these guns is sorely lacking.

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Edited by - Colin on 10/07/2003 12:36:52 AM


Krag
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3553 Posts
Posted - 10/07/2003 : 08:41:14 AM
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Colin- the book should be (?) available in early 2004. We had planned for December 2003, but the book in line before mine required extensive editing and slowed everything up.

It will be available from Andrew Mowbray Publishers http:www.manatarmsbooks.com

I just hope that all of you guys won't nitpick it too badly? It was a v-e-r-y broad subject and no doubt some of your favorites weren't covered in sufficient detail to please all of you. It covers the development, manufacture, distribution, and use of Mannlicher straight pull rifles from 1880 to 1952. I will warn you now, that I did not go very deeply into markings (proof, acceptance, unit, modifications, etc.) as that was just too complicated a subject to cover within the space restrictions I was working under. In fact, that is a subject for a book itself!

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"Use up all your ammo and have fun."

Starship Troopers
Robert Heinlein



DocAV
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



Australia
3278 Posts
Posted - 10/07/2003 : 10:22:35 AM
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Sorry.krag, if there is some misunderstanding about "M38" and "M39".
it may be a misinterpretation of nomenclature, the 38 and 39 referring to years of acquisition rather than "Model" designators.
I know that all the latest (last 15-20 years) of "S" type M95s have come out of Bulgarian strategic reserve storage, whether for Milsurp sale or for third world guerilla aid (FRELIMO, Mozambique, 1970s-80s).

All, or virtually all of these have the typical Austrian "S" rework mark. very few have NO mark at all (late conversions, possibly Bulgarian Post WW II, maybe rebarrel jobs.) 1930s dated Barrels are definitely Austrian Jobs ( S is added next to acceptance date, NOT over it, as for the WW I dates).
I would check the original "M38/39 reference in the original german, to study the language "context" to try to determine the meaning of these designations (whether delivery/acceptance "years" or actual "Model Numbers".
Until one can see actual Bulgarian documentation re: Mannlicher rifle nomenclature, the extant "Pushka Mannlicher" designation in cyrillic, with the overrider of Patronnyi "S" to describe the cartridge as seen on packets/labels, is the only nomenclature I could ascribe to Bulgarian use ( as well as the ubiquitous "M95" designator.)

Whilst a little outside his Time frame, JPS would be the most reliable source of Info re: Bulgarian Rifle nomenclature, at least until 1918 ( The Bulgarians had large qty. of both M88/90 and M95 during WW I).
Hungary seems to have retained its "H" conversions (31M) during WW II and at least up to the 1956 Uprising. Ammo for "H" chamber(or should it be "31M") was made up till this time.(Police and training use?).

I will be interested in seeing the book when it comes out.
Rgeards,
Doc AV
 
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